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Bank of America says Leo Lukenas didn't work 120-hour weeks

As we reported yesterday, Leo Lukenas, the Bank of America associate who passed away Thursday last week, died of "acute coronary artery thrombus," in which a clot is formed inside a blood vessel of the heart. The New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said he died of natural causes. 

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The verdict on Lukenas' death followed social media claims that he had worked 120-hour weeks prior to his death on a live deal that began in late April. The allegations have sparked new calls for junior bankers' working hours to be monitored and restricted. 

However, a spokesman for Bank of America denied that Lukenas worked 120-hours a week prior to his death. He said the bank's own records do not indicate this. 

Business Insider reported yesterday that Bank of America has a system in place called the "Banker's diary," which flags overwork. People there who work more than 100 hours a week receive calls from HR to check on their well-being.

Sources at Bank of America say they were told that Lukenas' time sheets didn't reflect 120-hour weeks during calls with senior staff on the weekend. Bank of America didn't confirm that these calls took place.

Despite the refutation of the 120-hour a week allegation, juniors across the industry are insistent that long hours in banking are a health issue. The wife of one banker told us her husband often works 100+ hours a week and is staffed on multiple deals. "He recently went 37 hours straight without sleep to close a deal. In a typical month, he'll get one weekend off - if that. Protected days are not recognized," she said. Some junior bankers have cast aspersions on the accuracy of the time sheet system.

Banks introduced protected Saturdays after Bank of America intern Moritz Erhardt died in 2012. Erhardt died after suffering an epileptic fit in the shower, but was said to have worked long hours and to have had very little sleep in the preceding days.

Donations can be made to a fund for Leo Lukenas' family here. $250k out of a target of $1m has been raised so far. Donors include Jefferies' CEO Richard Handler and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

Writing on LinkedIn, one MBA student and special forces veteran who knew Lukenas said, "He was one of the greats. He was a warrior...I never knew a man who charged as hard and loved as deep." In a statement provided to Business Insider, Bank of America said: "We are very saddened by the loss of our teammate. We continue to focus on doing whatever we can to support the family and our team, especially those who worked closely with him."

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Lu
    Luther Knox
    9 May 2024

    Skilled Athlete? Young? U.S. Army member? And he died of "overwork?" How about his mandatory vaccination? How about the article writer blatantly suppressing the possibility?

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